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Nicotallium

Pure Nicotallium in native form.

Nicotallium is a super-heavy silver-green quasimetal in the Nastium family of elements. There are no known unstable isotopes of Nicotallium. Its atomic number is 215.

Occurence in NatureEdit

In nature, Nicotallium is often found in Nastium ores as a contaminant, and imparts to them a slightly different green tinge. It has to be separated from these ores by heating them until the bonds of the contaminating Nicotallium compounds are broken up.

Nicotallium also has a number of its own (rare) ores in which its compounds form the main component.

Physical PropertiesEdit

Pure Nicotallium is a tough but flexible material, which does not easily break or snap under pressure. It is difficult to scratch, but easy to manipulate into different shapes.

Chemical PropertiesEdit

Like Nastium, Nicotallium has multiple oxidation states, including -2, +6, +4 and +2. How it reacts largely depends on the conditions of the reaction, and whether the Nicotallium is in its crystaline (metallic) form or its "plastic" form. Nicotallium reacts poorly with Oxygen, Sulpher and Selenium, but readily with (pure) Halogens such as Flourine and Chlorine. However, Nicotallium is resistant to Halogen based acids, for reasons which are still obscure.

UsesEdit

Nicotallium is used mainly in structural alloys, along with true metals such as Aluminium, Iron and Magnesium. It imparts strength, but also malleability, due to the flexible, but tight, bonds between its atoms.

Comercial UsesEdit

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Obtaining NicotalliumEdit

Nicotallium is normally obtained from Nastium ores through a process of heating and distillation. On planets rich in Nicotallium, large areas are filled with extraction machines, which heat the ores in large vats and then distill the pure Nicotallium using electricity.

Economic DangersEdit

Due to its value in the fields of construction, weapons and vehicle manufacturing, and other areas, Nicotallium is often obtained and distributed illegally. Though Ta'Elan law encourages free enterprise and allows anyone to mine important elements without a license, it is forbidden to use certain substances for any purpose that threatens the Ta'Elan Empire and its people directly. Illegal Nicotallium dealers sell their produce to narcotics dealers, criminal gangs, and even to the Axis. They also use dangerous methods of mining and refining Nicotallium, including using poisonous gases such as Chlorine, in open spaces, or even dropping bombs near to residential areas in order to blast buried ores from the ground.

These illegal miners use their economic power to offset the livelihood of legal miners, small farmers, and anyone else who gets in their way. They often use their Nicotallium reserves to bargain with powerful criminal entities in order to overrun their opponents and attempt to destabilize local governments.

ToxicityEdit

As with many other super-heavy elements, there is a mild toxicity associated with Nicotallium. The main dangers occur when the body substitutes other elements for Nicotallium, or deposits Nicotallium in the bones. In small amounts however, Nicotallium is largely harmless, as it is filtered by the liver and kidneys easily. Nicotallium compounds have varying levels of toxicity, with Nicotallium salts being of the least concern, and molecules such as Nicotallium Oxide being of the highest concern.

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